There are no upcoming events at this time.

Concluded Events

Lunch and Learn Series: Jasmeet Bhatia, VP, Decision Science Analytics, Truist

April 26, 2024

Topic: Deepening Relationships and Driving Customer Lifetime Value with Digital Banking

The Smith Analytics Consortium held its final Lunch and Learn of the 2023-2024 school, on Friday, April 26, 2024. The event featured guest speaker Jasmeet Bhatia VP, Decision Science Analytics at Truist. Jasmeet spoke about Deepening Relationships and Driving Customer Lifetime Value with Digital Banking.

Jasmeet has 15 years of experience in the Financial Services industry specializing in successful delivery of revenue-driving initiatives in data and analytics. He has led efforts to leverage advanced analytical techniques to understand customer journeys and build personalized solutions.

Jasmeet articulated the importance of using analytics to understand customer behaviors and needs in the banking industry. In doing so, he emphasized the strategic, technical, and ethical implications of using analytics to drive customer value. Jasmeet connected with the audience by explaining complex business strategies through digital banking examples that most people have experienced. The webinar concluded with a comprehensive Q&A session of a wide variety of questions ranging from customer privacy to advice for success in industry.

All in all, Jasmeet's experience and insights provided the audience with a unique perspective of digital banking from both the customer and business side. Jasmeet's balance between technical and business discussion served as not only an educational session, but also one that was meaningful and relevant.

Lunch and Learn Series: Navina Kaur Sethi, Senior Data Scientist, Walmart

April 19, 2024

Topic: Driving Business Success Through Prescriptive Analytics

View Video : Driving Business Success Through Prescriptive Analytics

Navina Kaur Sethi, a Senior Data Scientist at Walmart based in Texas, and a Smith School Alumni, recently delivered an engaging presentation at an event hosted by the Smith Analytics Consortium at the University of Maryland. With a Master's degree in Information Systems, Navina has honed a formidable skill set, including proficiency in Python, R, SQL, Tableau, and various data science libraries. Her significant contributions at Walmart, particularly in optimizing shelf space, underscore her ability to devise streamlined, user-centric solutions. Known for her drive for continuous improvement and a consistent record of success, Navina is a key player in shaping the future of data-driven decision making.

Her presentation provided an in-depth look into prescriptive analytics. This advanced approach not only forecasts future trends but also recommends specific strategies to enhance business performance. During the event, Navina explored the concept of prescriptive data, its significant value proposition, the different types of prescriptive data, and practical use cases. A lively Q&A session followed, where Navina engaged with students on various topics, including data-related challenges and career advice in the field of data science. Her insights and practical advice left attendees better prepared and motivated to navigate the complexities of modern data environments.

Lunch and Learn Series: Navid Ghomeshi, AI Strategy Consultant, Deloitte Consulting LLP 

December 8, 2023

Topic: Generative AI: Applications, Implications, and Opportunities

The Smith Analytics Consortium at the University of Maryland once again proved to be at the forefront of technological advancements by hosting an insightful webinar on Generative AI. The event, held on December 8, featured Navid Ghomeshi, a seasoned AI Consultant from Deloitte, who conveyed his extensive experience in AI and data analytics.

Navid, a distinguished member of Deloitte's AI and Data practice, has significantly contributed to the AI Strategic Growth Offering (AI SGO) at Deloitte. This session was particularly timely, as it focused on understanding the vast potential and challenges posed by this cutting-edge technology.

During the webinar, Navid delved into various business applications of Generative AI, highlighting its transformative potential across industries. He emphasized the importance of understanding the implications of using this technology, from ethical considerations to operational challenges. Navid's discussion on the future opportunities of Generative AI was especially intriguing, painting a picture of a world where AI is not just a tool but a partner in innovation. The session proved to be an invaluable resource for attendees, providing a comprehensive overview of Generative AI's current landscape and future prospects. Navid's ability to distill complex concepts into digestible insights made the webinar accessible to both AI experts and novices alike.

The "Generative AI: Applications, Implications, and Opportunities" webinar was a resounding success, leaving participants better informed and excited about the future of AI. The Smith Analytics Consortium continues to distinguish itself as a hub for learning and discussion on the most pressing topics in the world of analytics and technology.

Lunch and Learn Series: Jason Fowler, Reporting and Decision Support Analyst from the American Red Cross

October 6, 2023

View video: Data-Driven Decision-Making in the Non-Profit Sector

Topic: Data-Driven Decision-Making in the Non-Profit Sector

Recently, the Smith Analytics Consortium at the University of Maryland hosted an informative webinar for its students on Data-Driven Decision-Making in the Non-Profit Sector. Jason Fowler, a Smith School of Business MS Business Analytics Alum and a Reporting and Decision Support Analyst from the American Red Cross.

Jason graduated from the Master of Science in Business Analytics program with the Smith School of Business in December of 2022. He has backgrounds in Theatre, Psychology, Higher Education Event Coordination, COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Logistics, and Environmental Services. Jason has worked with the American Red Cross's National Headquarters as a Reporting and Decision Support Analyst since August of 2022, focusing on fundraiser and donor behavior analysis primarily using PowerBI, SAP Web Intelligence, and Salesforce.

Jason's expertise illuminated the unique challenges and opportunities in leveraging data analytics within non-profit organizations. He emphasized the vital role of data in guiding strategic decisions, especially in areas such as disaster relief, fundraising, and program effectiveness. His insights into the analytical tools and methodologies, such as PowerBI, Excel, and Salesforce, were particularly enlightening, providing practical examples of how data can be transformed into actionable intelligence.

Overall, this webinar was a valuable learning experience for participants, offering a deep dive into the intersection of data analytics and non-profit sector operations. Jason Fowler's session, organized by the Smith Analytics Consortium, was not only informative but also inspiring, showcasing the significant impact of data-driven strategies in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of non-profit initiatives.

Lunch and Learn Series: Jake Hirshman, Senior Business Data Analyst, DraftKings, Inc.

May 5, 2023

Topic: Influencing Fantasy Sport Contest Strategy Through Analytics

Jake Hirshman, a Senior Business Data Analyst at DraftKings, Inc. Jake is a University of Maryland alum with a double major in Finance and Information Systems, and a minor in Statistics. Over the last three years, Jake has worked with the Daily Fantasy and Marketplace products supporting the Operations teams at DraftKings. He talked about his journey from being a sports enthusiast to a business data analyst, combining his love for sports and math through various projects and an internship at Teamworks, a company specializing in software for athletic organizations.

During the webinar, Jake provided an overview of DraftKings, discussed the 'Reignmakers' product, and elaborated on the role of an analyst. He shared insights into his areas of work and provided a detailed walkthrough of a contest strategy exercise, demonstrating the intersection of sports, data analytics, and strategic planning. The attendees were particularly interested in Jake's firsthand experience and found his work captivating. A lively Q&A session followed the presentation. Among the topics discussed, Jake shared insights on how his job involves both working with data and presenting data to non-analysts, the number of projects he simultaneously works on, and their average duration. He also provided guidance to those interested in entering the field, emphasizing the value of internships, extracurricular activities, and specific skill sets that could help them stand out as applicants. Overall, the webinar was highly insightful, providing a comprehensive understanding of the role of data analytics in the sports industry.

Lunch and Learn Series: Lahar Mishra, Security GRC Specialist - Hyperforce at Salesforce

March 31, 2023

View video: Cybersecurity and Privacy Risk Management

Topic: Cybersecurity and Privacy Risk Management

Recently, the Smith Analytics Consortium at the University of Maryland hosted an informative webinar for its students on Cybersecurity and Privacy risk management. Lahar Mishra, a Smith School of Business graduate and a Security GRC Specialist at Salesforce led the session.

With over 5 years of experience in Cybersecurity and Governance Risk and Compliance, Lahar is an expert in Technology Audits, Cloud Security, Risk Management, Data Analytics, ICT consulting, and process improvement. As a data enthusiast, she discussed the opportunities to amalgamate analytics in the security space and influence business decision-making.

During the webinar, Lahar shared her insights on Cybersecurity and Privacy risk management. She highlighted the importance of proactive measures to identify, mitigate and manage security risks. She also discussed the current threat landscape, emerging technologies, and regulations related to cybersecurity and privacy.

Overall, the webinar provided students with valuable insights into the ever-evolving field of Cybersecurity and Privacy risk management. Lahar’s expertise and experience in the field made for an engaging and informative session. The Smith Analytics Consortium continues to provide its students with opportunities to learn from industry experts and develop their skills in analytics and data science.

Lunch and Learn Series: Maria Nazareth, Partner, Cloud & Digital – Analytics Insights at PwC

November 18, 2022

Topic: New frontier for data in the world of hyper-precision and hyper-customization

Maria focuses on helping clients on their digital transformation journey by harnessing their data to make more informed decisions. These end-to-end strategies touch virtually every part of the organization, from customer analytics that yields new services and more meaningful customer touchpoints; to operational analytics that streamlines processes and modernizes IT and infrastructure.

For over two decades, Maria has worked at the intersection of BFS and technology with the Big 4 and industry leaders. The depth and breadth of this experience helps clients decipher the signal from the noise and recognize opportunities to implement competition-busting digital initiatives using data as an asset.

Maria extends her thought leadership in Big Data, data management, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics to mentor future industry leaders. She and her team are building a roadmap for best practices for data-based digital transformation. Maria talked about the importance of digital transformation for the personalized needs of the everyday consumer and how existing businesses are digitally transforming themselves to develop capabilities to deliver on these needs.

Lunch and Learn Series: Chris Hansen, Consulting Partner, Fractal Analytics

September 30, 2022

Topic: Application of analytics in Retail space

In his role, Chris collaborates with Clients, Sales, and Delivery Leadership to create value for his clients and drives thought leadership.  He engages with CPG clients and supporting teams to identify critical CPG business issues, designs value-creating engagement models through existing solutions, and collaborates internally to build new solutions over time to meet clients’ rapidly changing needs.
Chris spent four years at Pariveda Solutions, a management and technology consultancy, where his primary role was characterizing client opportunities and developing solutions to capture value.  His projects included outlining technology strategies, building data and analytics platforms, and bringing new products to market. Prior to Pariveda, Chris spent 10+ years at Nielsen, where he helped CPG firms like Coca-Cola and Unilever and Retailers like Walmart and Safeway to bring new analytic solutions to life. Prior to Nielsen, Chris built a professional service and PMO function for a small software company. 

Analytics has become necessary in the retail industry, but many retailers still need help to use it effectively. Chris explores how retailers can implement analytics in their space by creating an effective strategy and considering the limitations that might prevent them from doing so. Retailers must understand what kind of data they want, who will be collecting it, and how much time it will take to make decisions based on this information.

View Video: Application of Analytics in Retail Space

Lunch and Learn Series: Muir Macpherson, Partner, Global Human Capital Analytics Leader AON

February 25, 2022

Muir Macpherson is North America Performance & Analytics leader and Global Data Science Center of Excellence leader for Aon’s Human Capital Solutions business. An innovator in the people analytics space, Muir helps companies advance their people analytics agenda, develop a data-driven culture, and make better workforce decisions.

Prior to joining Aon, Muir held positions at Ernst & Young and was a tenure-track professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, where he taught graduate courses in corporate strategy and international business and published peer-reviewed research. He holds a B.A. Political Economy, University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. Management Science, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Muir spoke to our students and provided a great overview about the importance of people analytics in today’s volatile business world. He showcased some of Aon’s human capital solutions and talked about current opportunities in the field.

Lunch and Learn Series: Rohit Malshe, Principal Research Scientist at Amazon Logistics

February 11, 2022

Rohit Malshe is a Principal Research Scientist at Amazon logistics. His team has over 10 PhDs including an Amazon Scholar and two Amazon visiting Academics. The team works on package selection, labor planning, forecasting, geo-spatial planning, workforce management, and optimization using state of the art machine learning, modeling, optimization techniques such as linear programming, mixed integer programming dynamic programming, etc and takes advantage of all types of analytics tools and programming languages such as SQL, Python. 

The team leverages computational resources from AWS and deploys tens of algorithms in production and is responsible for 10s of programs throughout the year. Rohit and team have published several research journals and applied for several patents during the stint at Amazon and before, and are responsible for over 500 million dollars’ worth of savings per year for the company. The team is constantly looking for great talent from industry and academics.

Lunch and Learn Series: Anyat Ravin, Head of M Live at Marriott International

November 19, 2021

Aynat’s career has evolved through the years, and she currently is the head of Marriott’s M Live:  Real-Time Command Center which is at the epicenter of real-time content, hotel awareness, and corporate reputation. Aynat leads a team, spearheading initiatives that focus on the intersection of Data, Technology and how that translates into the Creative.  She has won Shorty Awards and Cannes Lions for her work.

After graduating from the University of Maryland’s Business School, Aynat began her career in consulting with Accenture. She later earned her MBA from Columbia Business School where she refined her strategic, analytical, and marketing skills. After Columbia, she spent time at American Express in a variety of roles before transitioning to Marriott where she managed partnerships with the NFL, HBO, American Express, Visa and Hertz. Recognizing the immense value of social media, she pivoted her role to include social media strategy and analytics with the Marriott Buzz Marketing team and currently M Live.

View Video: Aynat Ravin Presents Marriott International's M Live

UMD Data Challenge 2021

February 20 to 27 (Virtual)

Learn More: UMD Data Challenge 2021

Smart City Challenge 2021
A Hackathon-Style Innovation Competition

January 23 to February 18, 2021

What solution do you see to help cities grow, operate, and meet population demands over the coming decades?

The Smart City Challenge will convene diverse, wide-ranging teams virtually via Zoom to innovate in the following sectors: housing, transportation, health, water, broadband, education, infrastructure, public safety, and more to address this question. 

Learn More: Smart City Challenge 2021

Virtual DataKind DC DataJam!

February 16, 2021

Join DataKind DC at a virtual DataJam! A DataJam is a gathering for do-gooders doing cool stuff with data. DataKind DC’s DataJam will be a time for volunteers to start or continue work on a variety of social good projects.

DataKind DC has a number of new and ongoing projects you will be able to contribute to - or you can bring your own project! To get an idea of the projects we will be starting and continuing, check out projects with a status of “Active”, “Lead”, and “Scoping” on

Learn More: Virtual DataKind DC DataJam!

Alumni Lunch & Learn Series: Athena Abbott, Director of Pharma Data Product Strategy & Customer Success at CVS Health

February 12, 2021

At this annual, week-long event, students from across UMD come together to solve real-world challenges, develop industry contacts, and win prizes. Teamed up, students brainstorm solutions for real companies based on information provided. Students gain valuable team-building, resume-building, and networking experience.

Must love brainstorming and problem solving, but no data analytics experience is required! Each year, students from nearly every college/program across UMD have fun at this event. Join us!

Watch Video: Lunch & Learn with Athena Abbott

Smith Analytics Consortium Networking Event: Start Your Analytics Journey

December 4, 2020

A panel of data scientists from Deloitte and Merkle share their professional experiences and offer advice.

Watch Video: Start Your Analytics Journey

Racial Biases in Artificial Intelligence

October 21, 2020

Hosted by the Smith Analytics Consortium and the Center for Social Value Creation.

As part of this event we will have the following speakers:

  • Lauren Rhue, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at the Smith School
  • Jameson Spivack, Policy Associate at Center on Privacy & Technology, Georgetown Law
  • Jamila Smith-Loud, User Researcher t Google’s Trust and Safety team
  • Carter Price, Senior Mathematician at RAND

Watch Video: Racial Biases in Artificial Intelligence

A Conversation with Sinan Aral (MIT), Author of The Hype Machine

October 23, 2020

“Just ten years ago, we communicated and coordinated with one another by phone, fax machine, and email. Since then, we have invented an entirely new set of technologies to curate and disseminate information. These technologies determine what we read, how we talk to people, and what advertisements we see—to the tune of trillions of messages a day. This conglomeration of technologies and social media—which I call the Hype Machine—influences everything from how we shop to who we date to how we vote. We are now living in a new social age where the Hype Machine is central to every human endeavor. I’m on a mission to achieve the promise of social media while avoiding its perils, specifically as it relates to democracy, economy, and public health.” — Sinan Aral

Please plan to join us from Noon-1 p.m. for a dialogue with Sinan Aral in which he will discuss his new book, The Hype Machine.

The Zoom webinar link will be sent a few days before the event.

About the author: Sinan Aral is a scientist, entrepreneur and investor. He is the David Austin Professor of Management at MIT, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) and a founding partner at Manifest Capital. He was the Chief Scientist at SocialAmp (until its sale to Merkle in 2012) and at Humin (until its sale to Tinder in 2016). He currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Alan Turing Institute, the British National Institute for Data Science in London, the Centre for Responsible Media Technology and Innovation in Bergen, Norway and C6 Bank, one of the first all-digital banks of Brazil.

Watch Video: A Conversation with Sinan Aral

SAC-Deloitte Data Series Workshop: COVID-19 Tweets Analysis for Government Responses

July 9 to August 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted summer internship plans for many Maryland Smith graduate students, so the SAC and Deloitte Data Scientists came together to host a one-month-long Data Series Workshop to enrich students’ data analysis skills and make a difference in the unprecedented pandemic.

Deloitte hosted four workshops on various topics focused on Natural Language Processing. The students had the chance to learn not only basic NLP techniques, such as Tokenization, Vectorization, Extracting Features, etc. but also learn about advanced topics, such as Sentiment and Clustering Analysis. Applying the skills to real-world data, which includes 20M COVID-19 related Tweets from March-May 2020 in the U.S., the students provided insightful data-driven evaluations and recommendations as reports regarding the government’s response to the pandemic.

Each of our Top 4 reports provided their insights from a different perspective. Do mask-wearing and stay-at-home orders slow down the spreading of Coronavirus? You can find the answer from the report of Group 3, by Cindy (Li-Hsin) Chang, Qiong Chen, Wenjing Jiang, and Yiyang Wang. What are the most popular topics people discuss during the pandemic? Weibo Chen, Xiaohui (Sophie) Li, Yifan He, and Madhavi Mundada found some interesting topics in their report (report of Group 6). Alexander Binder, Jinxin Hou, Hsiaoting Ko, Suchit Sanghvi, and Neerja Singh (report of Group 8) provided their insights about how the government should respond to a future pandemic. What public figure do tweets mention the most in relation to the pandemic? What are the most mentioned groups and organizations? Find your answer in the report of Group 9, Hao Jiang.

This data series workshop hosted by Deloitte was a valuable experience for Maryland Smith students, and a good replacement for some summer internships lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SAC looks forward to partnering with Deloitte again to benefit our students.


March 28, 2020

DataKind DC, co-sponsored its first @Smith event with the Smith Analytics Consortium. The DataJam @Smith took place as scheduled, but virtually via Zoom, on March 28th. Several Smith students and alumni joined in to the four data challenges presented. Together, volunteers tackled data challenges facing the Red Cross: #rcp_2_public, Audubon Society: #audubon, Capital Nature: #capitalnature, and Covid-19: #covid-project. Given its success, the Smith Analytics Consortium anticipates hosting future DataJam events – stay tuned.

Girls in Tech Washington, DC: Creating Pathways of Impact with your STEM Career

February 27, 2020

Girls in Tech, D.C. hosted a networking event in partnership with the Smith Analytics Consortium in February 2020. The topic was “Creating IMPACT with Your STEM Career.”  Panelists included Maryland Smith Professors Wendy Moe, Co-Director of the SAC and Margaret Bjarndottir, of the DOIT Department, among other esteemed women in the public and private sectors. They all shared key learnings that have shaped their careers and lives. Catherine Avon, co-managing director of Girls in Tech, D.C., said their organization wants to help women develop a toolkit to achieve new heights by sharing and developing their talents and lifting each other up. The women on the panel shared practical strategies to strengthen confidence, develop a grounded sense of purpose, and create a network that lifts women up to achieve impact in their chosen careers and relationships.


  • Catherine Avon (Founder and President - Stratford Consultants LLC)


  • Wendy Moe (Associate Dean of Master's Programs - University of Maryland)
  • Margret Bjarnadottir (Associate Professor of Management Science and Statistics - University of Maryland)
  • Laurel Fielding (Senior Technical Manager - Amazon Web Services)
  • Carol Gersten (Chief Client Officer - Interfolio)

Read Event Highlights: Girls in Tech

Doing Good with Data Analytics

February 13, 2020


  • Suresh Acharya (Academic Director, MS in Business Analytics - University of Maryland)
  • Holly Krambeck (Program Manager - World Bank) 
  • Prashant Yadav (Affiliate Professor of Technology & Operations Management - INSEAD)
  • Deepa Kerthykeyan (Director - Athena Infonomics)
  • Shachee Doshi (Program Officer - USAID)
  • Rachel Ochako (Deputy Director of International Programs - Africare)
  • Chris Parker (Associate Professor - American University)
  • Anthony Connor (Senior Director of Crisis Response Corps - Dimagi Software) 

KPMG Innovation Week and Student Innovation Summit

November 6 to 8, 2019

Healthcare Analytics Networking Event (Sponsored by Deloitte)

October 18, 2019

Deloitte and the Smith Analytics Consortium sponsored a successful healthcare analytics networking event featuring panel discussions, lightning talks, and poster presentations by managers and principals from Deloitte and faculty from the Smith School of Business.

2019 Smith Analytics Conference

March 29, 2019

2018 Smith Analytics Conference

April 27, 2018

2017 Smith Analytics Conference

April 21, 2017

Back to Top